Peugeot goes retro in a tribute to its 1960s superstar, the 504 coupe

e-Legend is Peugeot’s gorgeous Paris show concept car, bridging the gap between the past coupe and the new 508 GT

 

When is retro not retro? Apparently, when it’s the Peugeot e-Legend concept car. One quick glance tells you that the styling of this concept, which will form the centrepiece of of Peugeot’s presence at the upcoming Paris motor show, is heavily influenced by Peugeot’s own 1960s superstar, the 504 Coupe. But Peugeot’s head of styling, Gilles Vidal, says that it’s not retro at all. “A modern, sharper Coupé, this ultra-technological archetype of automotive pleasure finds its deep strength in the DNA of the 504 Coupé. The e-Legend concept projects us in the near future without any nostalgia. It formalises our approach to a Peugeot design that addresses the new technological challenges of the automotive industry.”

Vidal does admit that while the silhouette is taken from the 504, the detailing of the body owes more to American muscle cars than anything else. Which seems appropriate, as this concept certainly has some muscle.

Vidal does admit that while the silhouette is taken from the 504, the detailing of the body owes more to American muscle cars than anything else
Vidal does admit that while the silhouette is taken from the 504, the detailing of the body owes more to American muscle cars than anything else

It’s all-electric, drawing its power from a 100kWh battery pack, and there are two electric motors - one for each wheel. Total system power is 460hp, and there’s 800Nm of torque, which means that this concept could potentially scamper from 0-100km/h in just under four seconds. Peugeot says that it has a notional range, under the new WLTP testing system, of 600km and that you can charge it up to 500km in just 25-minutes.

It’s designed to be Level 4 autonomous, which means that you can take your eyes and hands off when you want to, and that’s had a big influence on the design of the cabin. While there are some retro touches (the blue velvet seats, the way the instrument displays mimc the look of the 504) there’s a lot of tech on show. In fact, most of the dashboard is taken up by a huge, curving, 49-inch screen which is both the car’s control centre and a way to watch movies when it’s driving itself. The small hexagonal wheel and driver’s instrument pack fold away into the dashboard when not needed, and there’s a massive soundbar, designed by audio experts Focal, which runs the full width of the interior.

It’s designed to be Level 4 autonomous, which means that you can take your eyes and hands off when you want to, and that’s had a big influence on the design of the cabin
It’s designed to be Level 4 autonomous, which means that you can take your eyes and hands off when you want to, and that’s had a big influence on the design of the cabin

There are also some neat touches. When you use the voice control system, the car talks back to in the synthesised voice of Gilles Vidal, its designer. Depending on how you have set the car up, the big display screen (and the smaller ones mounted in the doors) can actually project an image of wood trim. (There’s real wood in the cabin too, a rosewood style material made from sustainable forests.)

Chances of production? Sadly very unlikely, although there will be some influence on future Peugeot production cars. Peugeot’s chief executive, Jean-Philippe Imparato, said that: “The Peugeot e-Legend Concept is not just a technological manifesto. This is the vision of a brand, actively focused on an optimistic and ultra-desirable future. For Peugeot autonomous and electric are synonymous with even stronger sensations. Boredom will never be part of our DNA.” Here’s hoping.